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CBS People: Angie Koebler

New to the College of Biological Sciences, this staffer delights in discovery

Angie KoeblerWhat do you do here?

I am the Conservatory Services Coordinator at the CBS Conservatory in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology.

How long have you been at the U?

About three weeks.

Can you describe your position a bit?

In addition to maintaining the health of our existing Conservatory collection, I grow and maintain class-specific or research-specific plant material for various faculty and biology labs.

I also serve as one of many operational caretakers for our 42-year-old Conservatory along with a dynamic team of tradesmen and craftsmen, otherwise known as Facilities Management. I especially enjoy working with our dream team of staff, student workers and volunteers, and I look forward to future outreach opportunities.

How did you get into this field?

I loved the idea of combining science and art, form and function and a passion for learning and teaching. 

What is something you're looking forward to about this new position?

Daily discovery and sharing that with others. This morning I learned that even though certain plants may be genetically alike, and therefore grouped together taxonomically, they can be millions of years apart on the evolutionary scale. Yesterday I learned about Nepenthes lowii, or the Rajah Pitcher Plant, found clinging to trees in the cloud forest of Mount Kinabalu on Borneo. It's nectar first attracts and then relaxes the digestive tract of a native tree shrew which then "fertilizes" (can I say poop?‚Äč) the plant before it scurries back down to the ground where, interestingly enough, there are younger, ground-dwelling, insect-attracting stages of the same species of pitcher plant. There are thousands of fascinating plants like this one at the Conservatory. It is truly a living example of the University's research, education and outreach mission.

What do you like to do in your free time?

If I'm not reading a book or picking up another one from the library, I'm hiking or biking, and collecting state and national park visits with my family. Some favorite spots are the lava tubes in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Mosquito Bay, a bioluminescent bay in Vieques where you can splash millions of flashing dinoflagellates with your kayak paddle under the stars.  

November, 2016